Freo's View

PEOPLE POWER SAYS NEVER AGAIN!

Posted in beeliar wetlands, city of fremantle, perth freight link, Uncategorized by freoview on December 5, 2017

 

 

I just received a copy of the fascinating NEVER AGAIN book about the Roe 8+9 highway and Perth Freight Link by Andrea Gaynor, Peter Newman and Philip Jennings.

Although I have only read a few pages and flicked through the substantial book, I highly recommend it as a Christmas present because it is the very uplifting and inspiring story of people power and grassroots impact.

As Professor Tim Beatley of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville writes in his foreword, It is the story of the world.

Andrea Gaynor and Peter Newman write that it was remarkable that the despoliation of the Beeliar wetlands and Coolbellup bushland was carried out by the Colin Barnett government in the last few months of an unpopular and desperate government.

They say that previous environmental and Aboriginal heritage assessments were overruled to accommodate the development and that is was about a federal government funding a foisted and unwanted project on a vulnerable community, and that the story is about an extraordinary grassroots campaign.

The freight tollroad to nowhere, which would have stopped 3km from Fremantle Port near Stirling Highway, and that would have severely impacted on the black cockatoo habitat and Aboriginal heritage was stopped by the community when it kicked out the Barnett government.

One of the first announcements by new Premier Mark McGowan was that the Perth Freight Link would not be built, as he had campaigned for during the election.

The book authors say the Roe 8 process raises many important issues about the processes of government and agencies such as Mainroads and the EPA.

They ask what kind of integrated transport planning process can be introduced to prevent unwanted development being forced upon the community.

In an optimistic note they write that the Beeliar Wetlands are evidence that community leadership can drive a sustainable and inclusive process where and when political leadership fails.

The Perth Fright Link saga has shown that the community does not have to accept government decisions and that it is our democratic right to stand up for the protection of our heritage and environment, and that future generations expect that off us.

Buy some copies for Christmas presents!

Roel Loopers

Disclosure: Two of my photos are printed in the book, which I supplied free of charge.

NO MORE HERITAGE BY NEGLECT

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on November 24, 2017

 

WA Heritage Minister David Templeman is serious about heritage protection. A bill will be introduced in parliament next week to stop Demolition by Neglect by uncaring property owners.

Fines of up to $ 1 million, or one year jail, and ongoing daily penalties of $ 50,000 are part of the new legislation that will be managed by the State Administrative Tribunal.

Under the legislation owners of heritage-listed buildings who don’t maintain the property will receive a Repair Notice that requires them to make buildings safe and secure to prevent further deterioration.

I would love Marilyn New woolstores eyesore in Fremantle’s Cantonment Street to be the first one to cop a huge fine as the Fremantle community has been held at ransom for over a decade.

Roel Loopers

A NEW PORT OR A PIPE DREAM?

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on November 20, 2017

 

The outer harbour forum at Fremantle Victoria Hall was an interesting event and the hall was packed full, so there is clearly strong community interest in finding solutions for a better way on how WA deals with freight and port related transport and issues.

I was impressed with the presentation of Nicole Lockwood, the independent chair of the newly created WESTPORT.

She said the Kwinana outer harbour and issues related with it would be one of the longest planning exercises in WA, as the outcome would be looking after the State’s freight for the next 50-100 years.

The reference group was very broad and inclusive and relied on participation, input and ideas from all levels of the industries, government departments and community.

It is about planning a modern port, land and transport plans, assessing commercial aspects, identifying industrial opportunities, and maximising compatibility.

There is huge land access at Kwinana and Bunbury that can be utilised.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was good to have a rational conversation on how to transition part of the port activity to Kwinana as there is an opportunity to rethink the south side of the harbour.

There needs to be a better port to city connection and either upgrade the passenger terminal or build a new one further west with better access to the city.

Pettitt said Fremantle Council wanted to keep Fremantle as a working port as long as possible.

Infrastructure advisor Cameron Edwards said WA needed to offer a competitive international product and that a new outer harbour would create significant value to pay off the State’s debt.

Fremantle Port was a ‘stranded asset’ and the rail link under-utilised. Kwinana would be able to handle much longer trains than Fremantle, where the maximum length is only 690 metres.

The creation of a large industrial park and special economic trading zone at Kwinana would stimulate the WA economy. Kwinana is where the money is and that has significant advantage, Edwards said.

Fremantle deserves world-class facilities and there are great examples around the world how well we can rejuvenate old ports.

A new port would create 18,000 new jobs while the status quo would not create any new jobs.

Professor Phil Jennings spoke at length about serious environmental problems in Cockburn Sound in the past and that there are still areas where seagrass is dying and the pollution is bad, but with proper conditions and management in place the outer harbour could be acceptable.

Professor Peter Newman said we should create Lithium Valley at Kwinana as we have already eight lithium mines in WA and it is a growth industry. We should not just be exporting our lithium though but build the batteries here in WA.

Nicole Lockwood said it was going to be a huge jigsaw puzzle and a dynamic exercise to understand the constraints and opportunities of a new outer harbour.

I walked away wondering how realistic all this is, as we just had Fremantle Port wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars planning for the sale of the port, now the new Labor government is changing that all around with absolutely no guarantee that a future Liberal government will not scrap the plans again.

The reality will be that the construction of an outer harbour will not start in the next ten years because Fremantle Port is not anywhere near capacity and WA is broke. The ‘overflow port’ won’t really be needed for another 15-20 years. 

Building lithium batteries in WA is highly unrealistic because labour costs here are far too high to be internationally competitive.

And keeping a working port at North Quay while developing Victoria Quay is unfortunately also unrealistic because of the buffer zones at the port and safety and security issues. That means there can’t be residential or hotel development, so all that could be done is commercial activity of retail and offices.

While strategic long-term planning for our state is important it is essential to be extremely realistic about what can be achieved and what will remain just another pipedream.

 

Roel Loopers

THE PLANNING OF KWINANA PORT FORUM

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, perth freight link, Uncategorized by freoview on November 17, 2017

 

PFL protest

 

There is a forum on the planning of a Kwinana Port this coming Monday, November 20 at Victoria Hall in Fremantle. It is on from 7pm-9.30 pm.

The Kwinana Outer Harbour has been in the pipeline for over twenty years and was the solution to freight hitting Fremantle long before the Perth Freight Link was dreamed up. The new Westport Task Force was recently formed by the State Government to finally make it a reality. 

Nicole Lockwood, Chair of Westport will talk of her plans,  and Fremantle Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt will speak on the opportunities this opens up for Fremantle.

Infrastructure adviser Cameron Edwards will speak on why a Kwinana port will lead to jobs growth and massive economic potential for WA, Professor Philip Jennings on the environmental considerations, and Professor Peter Newman on transport planning and why this all makes sense.

A Q&A will follow presentations.

The Western Harbours Alliance purpose is to help establish new partnerships between community, government and business to create the opportunities and overcome the barriers to building a new 21st century port in the Perth Metropolitan Region, bringing great economic, employment and social benefits for the people of Western Australia. WHA is a member of the Westport Reference Group.

http://www.westernharboursalliance.com

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FREMANTLE HOME PORT FOR PRINCESS CRUISE SHIP

Posted in city of fremantle, cruiseliners, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 8, 2017

 

maritime museum sunset

 

WA Premier Mark McGowan announced on board the Sea Princess cruise liner in Fremantle port today the state government’s $ 7 million commitment to upgrade WA ports so they can better accommodate cruise ships.

This will allow Carnival Australia’s Sun Princess cruise ship to have her home port in Fremantle from next year.

According to the Premier that’s 400 jobs for Western Australians, and around $135 million for the WA economy.

Mc Gowan said that we want people from all over the world to visit WA and cruise ships are an important component of our plans to boost tourism and create WA jobs.

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

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ELECTORAL COMMISSION INCOMPETENCE

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, Uncategorized, voting by freoview on October 5, 2017

 

The missing ballot papers saga for the Fremantle local government election appears to be more widespread, with voters in the inner city and South Fremantle also only receiving the Ward ballot paper, but not the one to elect the next Mayor of Fremantle.

I hear it is not contained to Fremantle only, but is also happening at other councils.

We already read the story of Kalgoorlie ballot papers having been sent to Nedland, 600 km away, so this is a true shambles.

Only a few years ago there was a big investigation into how the WA Electoral Commission managed to lose hundreds of votes during the federal election, so heads need to roll now as this is not acceptable.

The outcome of the mayoral election might well be challenged by either or both of the candidates. It could even delay the election.

And let’s just remind ourselves that the tax payers will have to pay for the incompetence as new ballot papers will have to be sent out.

It is unbelievable!

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

FREO MAYOR BALLOT PAPER MISSING

Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 4, 2017

 

One has to wonder about the WA Electoral Commission. A few years ago they lost a whole lot of votes, and earlier this week it was revealed that Kalgoorlie ballot papers had been sent to Nedlands.

I just heard from a North Fremantle friend that he only received one ballot paper for the ward, but not the one for mayor in his envelope, while his wife received both.

One has to wonder how many ballot papers were not included in the envelopes and how many voters actually know they should receive two, one for the ward and one to elect the mayor.

If you only received one ballot paper in your envelope please immediately contact the returning officer Jeff Clarke at the City of Fremantle!

How difficult can it be, I wonder, to get something as simple as a mail-out right.

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

JDAP REFUSES FREO SIGN MADNESS

Posted in advertising, city of fremantle, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 27, 2017

 

116_Wray_revised

 

The WA Joint Development Assessment Panel has refused the application for a large video advertising sign at 116 Wray Avenue, corner Hampton Road in Fremantle with a 3-2 vote.

The City of Fremantle had already refused the application because it does not comply with the discretionary height provisions under the planning scheme, does not meet Fremantle’s planning policy for advertising, and the location of the sign is deemed to be a risk to road safety.

I personally am very annoyed about visual pollution and signs all over the place. There are A-signs everywhere in the CBD, and the election campaign signs are making Fremantle look like a cheap car yard.

Motorists get constantly distracted by signage and flashing video screens have no place along busy roads, I believe.

It is a worry though the JDAP vote was so close, so we can only hope that the applicants won’t try to force it through at the State Administrative Tribunal.

 

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

FREMANTLE FINANCIALLY SOUND SAYS MINISTER

Posted in city of fremantle, development, economy, finances, Uncategorized by freoview on September 20, 2017

 

I am not a big fan of publishing media releases by Freo City, or anyone else for that matter, but this one about the City of Fremantle’s financial situation is very important, especially during the local government election campaign, where some people claim Freo is going broke because of its investment in the Kings Square Project and selling city assets.

The City of Fremantle has received clarification from the Minister for Local Government over the City’s risk profile.

The City wrote to the Minister, David Templeman, in August after it was identified as being “high risk” in a response to a question in State Parliament.

The City’s risk profile was based on reporting from the 2015/16 financial year, where it recorded an unusually low Financial Health Indicator (FHI) score due a number of factors including a change in accounting methodology.

In his reply the Minister said he accepted information from the City’s auditors that, subject to final audit, the City of Fremantle’s 2016/17 FHI score will restore to approximately 85.

For the MyCouncil website and the Department of Local Government’s risk profile an FHI score of 70 and above indicates sound financial health.

The Minister also said he had asked his Department to review the way it communicates its risk profile process to avoid potential misunderstandings in the future.

STATE HERITAGE GRANTS AVAILABLE

Posted in architecture, buildings, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on September 13, 2017

 

Private owners of State Registered heritage places are invited to apply for a share of $1.2 million to assist with urgent conservation works to their properties.

The Heritage Council of Western Australia‘s Heritage Grants Program offers dollar-for-dollar funding for grants of up to $100,000, including for conservation plans to help guide works.

Last year, 13 metropolitan and 15 regional places shared in grant funding which, when combined with owner contributions, generated almost $3 million in conservation works.

The Heritage Grants Program is one of the few grants programs in Australia that assists private owners with the costs associated with maintaining heritage places.

Since the Heritage Grants Program’s inception in 1997, 745 heritage projects have received grants totalling more than $18 million.

Applications for the 2017-18 Heritage Grants Program are open until 12pm Tuesday October 31, 2017 and successful applicants will be announced in early 2018.

 

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

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